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Damini Deshwal’s gender bender - Pearl Academy

A UG student of Fashion Design, Damini Deshwal was recently declared Winner of the 2017 People’s choice vote by i-D. Interestingly enough, her inspiration was drawn from a question posed on Quora. A male user wanted to know if it was okay for a man to wear a saree.

“I was astounded that people in 2017 feel the need to impose restrictions on self-expression. People should be free to express themselves however they want and break all the norms of having to appear a certain way.”

“When I joined Pearl three to four years ago, I had a different image of fashion. Now, it has evolved to something more refined. I think, before I joined, the image I had of fashion was very immature and limited to what I saw around me.

I thought that fashion was just bridal wear, regular Indian clothes, and amateur takes of what I saw in the stores and marketplaces.

At Pearl, I was exposed to fashion as an art, styles and approaches from all across the world, and discovered that it wasn’t just about clothing the body. It was linked to culture, emotion, and identity. It could also be conceptual or purely for art, and expression.”

“Why does a man have to be aggressive? Why does he have to be strong? Why can’t he can’t be skinny, sensitive, or have long hair and wear pink? Why are clothes for men devoid of soft colours? Why are we limited to dressing ourselves according to gender?”

The question posed on Quora was just one of many that Damini began asking. In a bid to articulate her belief that fashion doesn’t need to be gendered or conventional, she began work on a unique collection.

“I don’t mind if people don’t agree with my collection or like any of the clothes I designed. Men who want to dress conventionally masculine and not break out of their current way of dressing are completely right in their own way.”

“I deliberately chose male dancers, because they are more in touch with their body and not afraid of using their body to express themselves. They are more grounded in the site of the body. They are more in tune with their sexuality and are able to flow with it and dance without inhibition.”

Made to Create
Damini did what all creators must do. Instead of typing out a long winded answer, she let her art speak for itself. She changed perceptions, twisted form and function and, for all we know, even inspired a little.

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